On the occasion of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Birthday celebration, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi delivered a speech Wednesday, addressing all Muslims across the world.
SEENews publishes Sisi’s full statement as follows:
Honorable Grand Imam of Al-Azhar,
Revered Scholars and Imams,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
May Allah’s Peace, Mercy and Blessings Be Upon You,
Today, we celebrate the anniversary of the blessed birthday of our noble prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who has laid, with his wisdom and kind preaching, great and eternal foundations for humanity as a whole.
I congratulate the good people of Egypt and all Arab and Muslim peoples on the occasion of this fragrant memory, praying to Allah to bring about many happy returns of the day and ultimate goodness, peace and blessings to the people and government of Egypt.
Today’s celebration of the anniversary of the birth of the epitome of mankind and the Prophet of Mercy (peace be upon him) evokes all the meanings of mercy in our true religion and reminds us that the tolerant Sharia law was based on construction rather than destruction.
This is a clarification of what Allah Almighty has said: “And we have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds”, in every sense of the word “worlds” and with all the meanings of universality, comprehensiveness, and inclusiveness it bears.
The purposes of religions are based on achieving the interests of the country and the benefit of the people through tolerance and ease, not fanaticism, extremism and hardship
For his part, the issue of rational awareness and correct understanding of religion will remain among the priorities of the current stage in confronting those who seek to distort the meanings of the texts, decontextualize and interpret them according to their agendas or resort to misinterpretations.
Accordingly, scholars are tasked with the heavy responsibility of rectifying misconceptions and protecting both the society and the State from acts of sabotage.
Thus, the whole world realizes that Islam is but the epitome of tolerance based on mercy and peaceful coexistence among all people.
Undoubtedly, building rational awareness requires the collaboration of all religious, educational, cultural and media institutions in order to contribute to building a strong personality that is capable of facing challenges. In other words, a caliber that distinguishes between right and wrong, fair and foul, and facts and rumors.
I do appreciate the role assumed by religious state institutions in spreading enlightened thought and correcting misconceptions; meanwhile, I stress that we need to double the effort exerted by all institutions and develop the awareness-building system to reach all segments of society at this critical stage in the history of our nation, our region, and the world at large.
Moreover, the state will spare no effort in supporting the imams and providing the appropriate environment for them to assume the desired role in the current stage of Egypt’s history so as to support the enlightened moderate religious discourse.
Allah the Almighty has granted us the gift of intellect with which He distinguished mankind above all creatures. Allah advised humanity at large to contemplate the realm of the heavens and the earth in terms of precision, creativity, and order.
Allah ordained to safeguard this distinctive grace and unique gift and forbade resorting to myths, illusions, destructive ideas and blind submission that saps the will and the ability to think, create, work and produce.
In the same vein, the message of Islam, conveyed by the noble Messenger, was a victory for freedom, namely, freedom of faith, choice, belief and thought.
Freedoms are not without strings attached. In other words, people should not turn freedoms into chaos allowing for destruction. Everyone’s freedoms should be respected and should follow the orderly system of God’s creation to the universe. Maintaining people’s rights is not a restriction of freedoms.
At the other end of the scale, practicing extremism under the guise of religion can never be justified, it is rather religiously forbidden and unlawful.
Let us agree that extremism cannot be limited to a specific religion. In all religions, unfortunately, there are extremists who seek to stoke sedition and ignite the fire of wrath and hatred. These ideologies call for antagonism and incite divergence and division. Messenger’s biography has been also exposed to extremism.
I assure everyone that the Prophet is in the hearts and minds of Muslims all over the world. The Prophet’s status will remain intact at all times. I affirm the categorical rejection of any acts of violence or terrorism by any party under the slogan of defending religion or sacred religious symbols; the essence of religion is tolerance.
Let us take the lessons we draw from the life course of our Prophet (may peace be upon him) as our source of inspiration; the Prophet who Allah sent to complement the noble manners. Thus, our Prophet has laid the foundations of coexistence, acceptance, and the belief in diversity: there is no compulsion in religion.
In conclusion, let us make the remembrance of his birth, may peace be upon him, a beacon that illuminates the way for us to live and realize the true concept of mercy, facing the groups that seeks to murder and sabotage.
Let us set a bright example of our homeland for understanding and implementing the true religion and achieving the purposes of the true Shara’ so we would send a message from Egypt, the cradle of history and human civilization, confirming the tolerance of religions and that it should be the path to world peace and the compassion of all of humanity.
Many happy returns
May our dear Egypt be always progressing and prosperous
May peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you